China’s largest jewelry retailer by market value, Chow Tai Fook, has responded to economic headwinds in its home country by investigating plans to expand in the US market, according to a report on Bloomberg.com.
The company plans to start the new US wholesale business, which will sell diamonds to retailers there, within a year and has set up a team to conduct feasibility studies.
Unlike its own-brand diamond franchise, Hearts on Fire, Chow Tai Fook will look to sell polished and rough diamonds to other retailers. “We are interested in the U.S. market because it has the largest demand for diamonds in the world. It contributes to 40% of diamonds sales,” said Chow Tai Fook managing director Kent Wong.
Chow Tai Fook’s sales continued to fall in the first fiscal quarter of 2016. In Hong Kong and Macau, retail revenue fell 22% and same-store sales slid 20%, according to a statement by the company. The group’s retail sales in Mainland China fell 13% and same-store sales fell 17%. Gem-set jewelry sales declined 27% in Hong Kong and Macau and 12% on the mainland.
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